Taiwan approves visa-free status for Filipinos

By Anthony Q. Esguerra/inquirer.net – Filipinos may soon travel to Taiwan without paying visa fees after the Taiwanese government approved visa-free privileges for Philippine nationals.

Taiwan Premier Lai Ching-te has approved the plan to give visa-free status to citizens of the Philippines, according to a report from state-owned Central News Agency.

The report said that Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has yet to disclose the details but the new measures are expected to be implemented in October the earliest.

Under the plan, Filipinos wishing to visit Taiwan may seek entry visas through an electronic or online application mechanism.

The move is part of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy that relaxes visa rules for the 10 member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nation in hopes of improving ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Taiwan announced the visa-free status for the Philippines in June, but the implementation was postponed. Mofa cited the need for “complete relevant administrative procedures and inter-agency coordination.”

Taiwan’s government hopes that the policy will forge closer relations with other countries in a bid to reduce economic dependence on China.

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